Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Coach

Mike Zimmer

The Lynx and the Gophers women's hockey team are Minnesota's most triumphant sporting ventures. The Wild are the closest to our native cultural hearts. But when it comes to pure rooting interests, no one comes close to the Vikings, one of the NFL's more stable and successful franchises since arriving in the Glorious Northland in 1961. But the Period of Unspeakable Darkness — also known as the Christian Ponder Era — left fans crying for a savior to lift us from the roaring sadness of overthrown four-yard curl patterns. Enter Coach Mike Zimmer. He's slowly recreating the Vikes into an old-school team heavy on defense and centered on the run, a relatively starless squad meant to endure. The Purple are rising through the draft and forsaking spendy free agents. It may not be a glamourous path to resurrection, but it's a solid one. Captaining this ship is Zimmer, who quickly earned the respect of players and fans alike. Though it's far too early to tell, initial signs suggest he may be the best coach to prowl the sidelines since Bud Grant.

Best Bike Trail Cedar Lake

Best Bowling Alley Town Hall Lanes

Best College Athlete Rachel Banham

Best College Recruit Amir Coffey, University of Minnesota basketball

Best Day Trip Spicer

Best Disc Golf Course Valley Disc Golf Course

Best Dog Park Battle Creek Dog Park

Best Gym The Aviary

Best Hike Wild River State Park

Best Lake Lake Phalen

Best Local Landmark Kenwood Water Tower

Best Lynx Player Maya Moore

Best Picnic Spot Como Park

Best Place to Do Something for Free Films at the Fitz

Best Place to Do Yoga CorePower Yoga

Best Place to Ice Skate Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval

Best Place to Jog Hidden Falls Park

Best Place to Make Out Behind any dumpster

Best Place to Meet Single Men (Gay) 19 Bar

Best Place to Meet Single Men (Straight) Community Keg House

Best Place to Meet Single Women (Lesbian) The Town House

Best Place to Meet Single Women (Straight) Spring Street Tavern

Best Place to People-Watch Minnesota State Fair

Best Place to Play Boot Hockey Pearl Park

Best Place to Shoot Pool Jimmy's Pro Billiards

Best Place to Sled Columbia Golf Course

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests Stillwater

Best Place to Warm Up When It's Cold Outside Sea Life Aquarium Minnesota

Best Public Park South Valley Park

Best Sign of Spring Sven Sundgaard's deltoids

Best Sports Highlight The All-Hockey Hair Team

Best Sports Radio Personality Paul Allen

Best Sports Team Minnesota Lynx

Best Sports Writer Aaron Gleeman

Best Timberwolves Player Karl-Anthony Towns

Best TV Sports Anchor Mark Rosen

Best Twins Player Miguel Sano

Best Vikings Player Harrison Smith

Best Weekend Getaway Duluth

Best Wild Player Charlie Coyle